The Fairfax County School Board voted last night to adopt a controversial resolution that outlines the rules for drawing up the annual education spending plan.
The resolution states that population growth, inflation and other "relevant factors" must be taken into account in determining the school budget.
The resolution was a greatly watered-down version of a motion adopted last month by the County Board of Supervisors, which has the final say on school spending.
Even so, it did not satisfy a crowd of parents and teachers -- many wearing red in a show of solidarity -- who packed the Luther Jackson Intermediate School auditorium, where the School Board meets. Opponents of the resolution testified for an hour, saying it would place a cap on the board's ability to request enough money to meet the school system's needs.
Katherine Hanley, the Providence District School Board member, and Annandale member Laura I. McDowall were the only ones to vote against the resolution. Hanley said the board should be "an unabashed advocate" for the schools, and "we should not abdicate that responsibility."
But Board Chairman Mary E. Collier, the Dranesville member, said the budget guidance from the supervisors adds a certainty "that that budget will be totally funded."
Superintendent Robert R. Spillane said that having a "relationship with the Board of Supervisors" helps him get what he needs for the schools.
In other business, the school system staff urged the board to begin an experimental program for disruptive seventh and eighth graders, possibly as early as next semester. The program would be housed at the former Bryant Intermediate School building and include 25 students, a director/counselor, a social worker, three teachers and three aides.
The board is to vote on the proposal at its Dec. 5 meeting.